Post partum anxiety?
I have a 4 month old beautiful baby boy. He is my everything and I love him more than words can describe.
I feel I may be struggling with post partum anxiety though. I can’t bear to be away from him. Even for short periods of time. I’m anxious about leaving him with my partner incase he misses a nap on schedule. I’m anxious about leaving him with my mother incase she does t do exactly what I do and same goes for my mother in law. These people are amazing, loving, caring people who I should not fear looking after my baby, but I do.
he is also exclusively breast fed. I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding in the beginning and got mastitis three times in two weeks. I gave up breastfeeding for a few days, even took a lactation suppressant, then changed my mind and worked really hard to re-lactate. In addition to this I had a really scary accident two weeks ago where I fell down the stairs with my baby. He was completely unharmed but I was bruised all over.
i feel that this has contributed to my fear of being away from him. My mum doesn’t help things. She makes me feel like a bad person for not giving her my baby to look after yet, but she doesn’t really offer much support. She expects me to drop him at her house (1.5 hour drive away) and I’m not sure where I go while she looks after him? Nowhere is open....my mother suffers from her own mental illness and takes things very personally even when they aren’t about her. There is no reasoning with her when she feels like this.
do I need to seek further help? Or am I just behaving in a normal way for a first time mum in a pandemic?
I can see how much you love your baby, the bond you two share seems to be really special. It sounds like you are going through a lot and to add the pandemic into the mix this can definitely add to our anxieties! I think a lot of people can relate to your experiences as a first time mum. Although I don't have any children yet myself I really wanted to respond to this post to show that you are not alone.
From what I have heard, anxieties do happen to first time mums, but it's when it is negatively impacting your mental health or making you feel increasingly distressed that seeking further help might not hurt. For anything that we do, when we feel as though we have a lot on our shoulders, it can feel better to seek help and have that extra support while we go through things.
How would you feel about potentially speaking to your GP?
Hi missep123 thank you so much for your reply!
yes I’ve thought about speaking to my GP. I think it’s worthwhile because I dont want my mum to feel like I don’t trust her with my baby. And this is how she feels right now. It’s not really about her in particular but everyone. So maybe I need some support to work through that block and let others into his life. My family is important to me and I want them in his life i just feel these emotions so strong right now about being away from him.
thank you for your kind response.
Thank you for your post and I really appreciate you opening up to us about what's going on. I'm sorry that you're struggling with this and I can see that MissSep123 has offered you a really supportive reply.
I just wanted to jump in and answer your question - do I need to seek further help? Or am I just behaving in a normal way for a first time mum in a pandemic?
Why does it need to be one or the other? I think the way you are behaving is probably 100% normal and understandable - difficulties with breastfeeding can often be enough to cause some anxiety, but add that a very scary accident (and other things!) it's no wonder that you feel the way that you do.
I also just wanted to link to this resource https://www.panda.org.au/info-support/after-birth They have lots of resources here that are worth checking out.
Feel free to let us know how you get on with the GP.
I just wanted to say I felt exactly the same way after my first child. I had the same worries about leaving him, other people not sticking to schedules, etc. I think it’s perfectly normal but always good to chat to someone about it. I think at the end of the day you shouldn’t force yourself to leave him with relatives just to keep them happy. After all, he’s your baby. There’s no reason why they can’t spend time with the baby with you around.
How does your partner perceive your anxiety? The pandemic makes things so much harder. I’m having my 3rd and have concerns about people wanting to kiss and hold the baby once it’s here. It’s tricky times, but people need to respect your feelings too.
Thank you for your reply jk2020,
it’s nice to hear that I’m not alone in feeling like this. My partner thinks my anxiety is normal given the circumstances but he’s a pretty laid back guy. He also thinks it’s good for me to learn how to be away from our son but doesn’t push the matter.
i hear what your saying about family being ok to be with him and me and I think that’s a good start for us. Especially when they are not overly supportive and just expect me to ferry him to them all the time. That just adds pressure to how I’m feeling.
unfortunately it’s not as easy as people respecting my opinion. My mum in particular is a tough one because she’s had a traumatic life and I don’t want to hurt her. Which inevitably happens even when I don’t intend it. But I’ll keep trying to find a solution that works for me and her xx
thank you for your kind words. Funnily enough being with my bub is what makes me feel the most relaxed haha but I also do a 10 minute meditation before bed every night and go for a walk every day. My partner and I try to have a romantic dinner at home once a week once Bub has gone to bed. These things make me feel good 🙂 xx
Aw I love that BrokenHearted88! Those sound like beautiful things to do. Good idea with the meditation! It forces us to really unwind, I feel so relaxed afterwards.
I used to have a lot of anxiety and what helped me was to realise what kinds of thoughts I was having and try to challenge them. For example finding evidence for and evidence against. What I usually found was the evidence against the anxiety-provoking or negative thought was much more realistic/believable than the evidence for. Would this perhaps work for you?